Episode 102: Do you want to know how I got this moustache?

The Overthinkers tackle The A-Team.

Matthew Wrather hosts with Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, Josh McNeil, and Jordan Stokes to overthink what they won’t do, beards, the A-Team, what Face is good for, the multi-faceted career of Liam Neeson, and getting your ass kicked by the Karate Kid.

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11 Comments on “Episode 102: Do you want to know how I got this moustache?”

  1. Chris #

    According to Wikipedia, Liam Neeson is set to play both Abe Lincoln and Lyndon Baines Johnson in the not too distant future.

    Also, apparently in his first film role, again according to Wikipedia, he plays Jesus (technically, he plays an Evangelist/Jesus which means he’s either an Evangelist AND Jesus or an Evangelist who also happens to be Jesus) in a film version of Pilgrim’s Progress. Combining that with playing Aslan and Zeus and clearly he has a panache for playing characters of lofty religious stature.


  2. lee OTI Staff #

    I’m serious about this whole Justin Bieber–Twitter–Karate Kid connection, by the way:


    This one tweet was read by millions of Bieber fans and retweeted by some large fraction of those millions.

    Never underestimate a kid with babyfaced good looks and enough talent to get by. (That applies to both JB and Jaden Smith.)


  3. Gab #

    Lee, I’m afraid of heights, too! I never fell off of anything- I was stuck on the roller coaster at the top of what is now the Stratosphere Tower in Vegas when I was seven for over two hours. I don’t watch _Ferris Bueler’s Day Off_ for myriad reasons (once is enough), but one of them is the scene where they’re leaning on those windows- just watching that, even on a small TV, makes my palms sweaty. I can still do roller coasters, oddly enough, but I can’t go up a ladder. It’s a good thing I’m so short.

    Oh, and still @Lee: You’re totally right about JB.

    So was Mr. T making a lot of something out of nothing when he complained about the death, sex, and violence?


    I think the difference between nostalgic reactions to _The Karate Kid_ and _The A-Team_ comes from how the studios making them approach that nostalgia. This is just a theory, mind you, but it seems to me the way _The Karate Kid_ is still _The Karate Kid_ in the U.S. instead of _Kung-Fu Kid_ feels like a deliberate oversight and slight to fans of the original by the companies making the movie. It’s like the studios are saying they don’t care and are making an open mockery of the fans. Any discrepancies between the original _A-Team_ and the remake aren’t as blatant and get discovered by watching the movie- they aren’t calling a movie about a team of chefs the “A-Team,” after all, and the characters are all basically the same, from what I can tell- they didn’t make Baracus white or Peck a woman, for example. So the fans take _The A-Team_ as more sincere, perhaps. Again, that’s all just a theory.


  4. Sylvia #

    I think part of the reason people were so forgiving of a new BA Baracus is Mr. T is the first thing people and feel nostalgia for regarding the show, but he’s just the kick off point. There are the other elements that you mention, the theme song and the opening monologue, and then the van. And then you start to remember Murdoch and how awesome he was, and then the cigar and all the other cliches of the show. The Karate Kid is one movie about one kid embodied by Ralph Maccio. The A-Team is more than Mr. T.


  5. Tom #

    This probably belongs on an Open Thread, but has everybody seen the Clichemageddon-worthy tagline in the “Knight & Day” trailer?

    “He’s on a mission. She’s on the wrong plane. Nothing brings two people together like being on the run.”

    I don’t think I can add anything meaningful to that.


  6. stabbim #

    @Gab – Deliberately mocking fans of the original? I doubt it. Insulting them — and by extension, the American viewing public — by implying that they’re A) only going to be interested in the film if the nostalgia button is hit with a sledgehammer, and B)not smart enough to realize that a movie with the plot of The Karate Kid called The Kung-Fu Kid is not “a rip off” of the original? Perhaps, but I think it’s just collateral damage.

    Is there a statute of limitations on this sort of thing? Did big Romeo & Juliet fans have a problem with West Side Story?


  7. fenzel #

    @ stabbim

    Shakespeare is a special case, because he only made up one of his plots — The Tempest — all the rest he borrowed from other sources. And also, it’s remade all the time. People tend to get mad at bad Shakespeare adaptations rather than things that cop the plotlines.


  8. Gab #

    @Stabbim: I’d go a bit further than Fenzel on one point and say Shakespeare gets remade, yes, and also “reinterpreted” all the time, and _West Side Story_ was pitched as that, a re-interpretation of _Romeo and Juliet_. “Reinterpretation” has different connotations than “remake” does, implying from the beginning there will most likely be lots of drastic changes. _West Side Story_ wasn’t *called* _Romeo and Juliet_, it was called _West Side Story_.

    And really, whenever Shakepeare does get “remade” too, it’s kind of a given for the audience that something “new” will be done, something making it edgy or original or FAAAAAANTASTIC! Like the production of _Richard the III_ in _The Goodbye Girl_- it’s nowhere in the script, but Richard Dryfus’s director tells him to play the king as a “flaming homosexual.” Or the upcoming _Tempest_ has a gender switch in the casting wherein Hellen Mirren plays Prospera (as opposed to Prospero). Stuff like that is expected of Shakesearean remakes.

    And one last part we probably will have to agree to disagree on: I think your B) is why it is, in fact, openly mocking fans. The argument that “karate is originally a Chinese art form” is utterly insulting on a lot of levels and to a lot of people, but yes, it’s insulting to *fans* because it assumes they’re too stupid to take a statement like that at face value. Even people that have never seen the original questioned the change to kung-fu and why on earth they would still call it _Karate Kid_ in the first place. Having public statements like that changes it from collateral damage to deliberate. So then, fans go into it already upset and thus more riled up at and eager to find and get further outraged about other differences- and it all sort of snowballs into this massive _Temple of Doom_-esque ball of hate and outrage, rolling at the makers of the film.


  9. Gab #

    And by _Temple of Doom_, I meant _Raiders of the Lost Ark_.



  10. stabbim #

    Perhaps I came at that Shakespeare analogy from the wrong angle. What I meant was this: would fans of the original be more or less insulted if the title was changed across the board? Would there be a segment of folks complaining that this movie called The Kung FU Kid was just ripping off The Karate Kid without thinking the remake/reboot/remix premise through? And if so, is it possible that TPTB (foolishly) took that into account in their decision to keep the original title for the US release?

    Granted, I didn’t know they were throwing out straight-faced rationalizations like “karate is originally a Chinese art form,” rather than just owning up to leaning on the crutch of brand recognition. So, yeah. Insulting to everyone, that.


  11. El Acordeonachi #

    Living in the middle of nowhere, I don’t often get a chance to watch movies. But oddly enough, I was in the big city last week and not only saw The A-Team but took my kids to the Karate Kid. And at the risk of a storm of hate heading my way, I have to say that I enjoyed The Karate Kid. Quite possibly, no, definitely more than the original. Yeah, when I was 12 it had me pretending to do Karate for days. But I’m older now, and my tastes have changed. My reasons for enjoying it are many, but here are the top 3.
    #1 Jackie Chan is waaaay more convincing as the aging martial arts master than Pat Morita. For his one fight scene alone. Nothing against Pat Morita’s fight scene, but it was 80’s staged fighting. Jackie Chan’s one fight scene, while pretty basic if you’ve seen more than one of his films, is easily more convincing.
    #2 The bad guys. All the bad guys in the original Karate Kid were douchetastic jerks, but they weren’t exactly intimidating. In the new movie, again, the kid bad guys are jerks, but they’re mean jerks rather than douchey. For a bonus, they’re bigger, more solid kids than tiny Jaden Smith. Think Bolo Yeung vs. Bruce Lee.
    #3 The other big star of the film, China itself. Yeah, yeah, Chinese Propaganda, etc etc. Now that that’s out of our system, when we leave the sets and go out into the Chinese countryside, the movie turns into a bit of a travel documentary, with all of the breathtaking scenery and helicopter shots that entails. And I like that kind of stuff. It’s one of the main reasons I watch Top Gear, and a enjoyable part of this movie.

    Oh, and before you think I’m completely insane, I did in fact enjoy The A-Team more. I love it when a reboot comes together.


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